The photo is an altered version of one taken at the Rio Olympics during the men's 100-meter semifinal race, and shows DeGeneres riding on Bolt's back as he's running to victory.
"This is how I’m running errands from now on," the tweet read.
A number of responses to the tweet argued the photo is racist.
"You thought it'd be funny to post a pic of yourself riding on the back of a Black man? Nope. Delete this racist garbage," wrote one person.
"Despite its intentions this pic has ugly connotations [coming] from a rich white lady," wrote another.
On Tuesday, DeGeneres commented on the backlash, tweeting, "I am highly aware of the racism that exists in our country. It is the furthest thing from who I am."
Bolt, who has appeared on DeGeneres' talk show in the past, retweeted the Photoshopped picture.
I am highly aware of the racism that exists in our country. It is the furthest thing from who I am.— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) August 16, 2016